Apr 26, 2012
Frozen fruit? Up-and-down weather throws off Upstate N.Y.’s fruit trees

Eric Shatt does not even bother checking weather forecasts anymore.

As farm manager of Cornell Orchards in Ithaca, he is all too familiar with the damage already done to the majority of the peach and plum crop by a series of evenings when temperatures dipped into the low 20s and teens.

"A few weeks ago, I was paying extra attention to the weather," Shatt said. "But at this point I don’t pay as much attention because we have had so many episodes, I feel like what is done is done. At this point there is nothing we can do."

Shatt said he takes solace in noting that the apple crop probably wasn’t completely wiped out. He shares the feeling of helplessness with other growers of tree-fruit crops in central New York and the Southern Tier this spring, where wild swings in the weather, from record highs in mid-March to frosts and heavy snow this week, have left trees vulnerable. Growers are optimistic that they will not be left with absolutely nothing, but it’s still too early to fully assess the damage that Mother Nature has brought on. The Ithaca Journal

Read more of the story and watch a video clip here.

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